A rejoinder to Noisey’s entirely pointless ‘is the album review dead’ article


Damn it. I’ve given the game away in the heading.

OK. You better have a read of this first. I assume the writer was getting paid by the word. So little to say, and so much space spent saying it.

This made me nostalgic for the days of ‘the day of the music journalist is over’ articles.

Who would have thought? The article begins with another Lester Bangs reference. Whomever the author is, one cannot fault him for lack of originality. Probably a music critic.

Another thought: clearly an American. Possibly a Trump supporter, from his xenophobia. Why is it some Americans assume the world does not exist beyond whichever city they live in? Fifteen mentions for Pitchfork in an article just shy of 2,000 words. Four quotes from Pitchfork writers out of a total of six. Hey, no one can accuse this guy of not doing his research! Probably a former (or current) Pitchfork writer.

Bangs, though. Jesus fuck. Really? Used to illustrate a point that has already been made a thousand times over (some of which made by writers not being paid by the word)… so I guess at least the clichés have consistency.

Do we still need the album review? Well, it does not really matter to the writer. That is not the point of the article. The point of the article is to a) ensure the writer is still getting paid for (not) writing about music and b) ensure we all know that the writer views himself as one of those commentators on the cutting edge. I mean, dude! All content is free on the Interweb! Even music! And why do you need to read about music (or sport, or art, or film, or television) when you can download it for yourself! I mean, really dude! And yes, he actually is the first living person to spot this. (Obv, Bangs would have done if he was still alive, but he isn’t – note to editor: check this – and so it falls to the writer to point out the screamingly mundane.)

We are living in that age Bangs never got to see… uh, yes. It is also an age that Bob Marley never got to see, or Queen Victoria, or Plato. Can you believe that it would take hundreds of thousands of years to listen to all the music on offer from online streaming services! Blows the mind, right? Well, that ain’t all, brother! Button down the hatches and listen to this: there is a new type of critic in town now. The blogger!

Fuck. The blogger, you say. Mental note to self: must look out for these people. Sound fascinating. And wait for it… The playing fields were leveled and music criticism could suddenly be done by any blogger from any bedroom with an internet connection. Whoa! Fuck shit no! Gravitional forces in dark matter move over! (Right now, I am starting to think the last time Dan Ozzi encountered music criticism or indeed new music was when Bangs was still alive: hence the reference at the start.)

But wait! The ‘new’ does not stop here! Music fans are now using social media sites – like Twitter! – to talk about music. Fuck shit no. Goddamn. This is exciting stuff indeed. Move over daddio, there is a new type of water cooler in town.

Apparently, nowadays there are all these different voices writing about music competing for attention and… (continues in this vein for another 10,000 words, until editor has an aneurysm).


Incidentally, this pivotal quote from the article is not so much mendacious as completely (deliberately?) rooted in fantasy, and misleading.


“The internet has essentially democratized the music industry in terms of what is popular and it’s democratized the music journalism industry as well,” says Fantano. “Anybody could put their thoughts on a record out there. I think the world of reviews and opinions is now very much a meritocracy.”


See also Sean Adams response here on Facebook.

2 Responses to A rejoinder to Noisey’s entirely pointless ‘is the album review dead’ article

  1. kendalllacey says:

    Jeez! the worst kind of ‘indier than thou’ tripe. The EXACT reason i refuse to be labelled ‘indie’, sure i like a lot of those labelled bands The Prettiots/Skating Polly are top of my pops, but also 5SOS bring me more joy than 99% of bands today. I still search out pieces written by ET/TP/SP, even checking out Q which i never read to see Price’s work. Even after hearing the album. i’m sad that ‘kids’ wont have heroes on the other side of the musical window, just pointing out things. x

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